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Nitrate-Nitrogen, Soluble, and Bioavailable Phosphorus Runoff from Simulated Rainfall After Fertilizer Application

Gascho, G. J., Davis, J. G., Hook, J. E., Wauchope, R. D., Dowler, C.C., Johnson, A. W., Truman, C. C., Sumner, H. R.
Soil Science Society of America journal 1998 v.62 no.6 pp. 1711-1718
agricultural soils, Udults, nitrate nitrogen, phosphorus, losses from soil, runoff, nitrogen fertilizers, phosphorus fertilizers, potassium fertilizers, granules, liquid fertilizers, rain, field experimentation, Georgia
Runoff from crop land can enhance eutrophication of fresh water and hypoxia in sea water. We simulated rain at 25 mm hr⁻¹ for 2 hr, 8 d prior and 1, 14, 29, 49 and 108 d after fertilization and planting of corn (Zea mays L.). Experimental sites received 50 kg N, 45 kg P, and 125 kg K ha⁻¹ as granulated fertilizer broadcast and incorporated to a depth of 150 mm. An additional 118 kg N ha⁻¹ was surface-banded as solution fertilizer at Day 28, which was 1 d prior to the Day 29 rain. The study was conducted for 2 yr on a Tifton loamy sand (fine-loamy, siliceous, thermic Plinthic Kandiudults) with a slope of 4.5%, on micro- (5.57 m²) and meso-scale (622 m²) plots. Runoff was equal for the two scales of plots. There were greater runoff losses of soluble-P from meso- (1.4 kg ha⁻¹) than from micro-plots (1.0 kg ha⁻¹). Nitrate-N losses averaged 2.7 kg ha⁻¹ and bioavailable-P losses were 2.3 kg ha⁻¹. Greatest NO₃-N and soluble-P losses occurred the day after application of the soild fertilizer, whereas bioavailable-P loss was greatest at Day 14 and 29. No increase in NO₃-N losses was found 1 d after the application of urea ammonium nitrate solution, possibly indicating that liquid fertilizers are not as susceptible to runoff losses as solid fertilizers. Results of this study should encourage the use of small plots, thereby saving research time and expense and provide data useful for estimating losses at similar sites.